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Keep It Clean – We’re All Downstream!

The local art contest raising awareness about stormwater is now accepting entries


KINGSPORT, TN – Are you passionate about keeping the environment and Kingsport clean? Do you have an artistic talent for conveying a message within your art? The City of Kingsport Stormwater Department, with the help of the Office of Cultural Arts and Engage Kingsport, is seeking local artists and creative minds to paint five storm drains to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our rivers, stream habitat, and aquatic wildlife.

To enter the contest:

  • Send a color sketch of your proposed artwork around a storm drain. Entries will be accepted via mail or email. See flyer for details.
  • Artwork may include the street, sidewalk or both.
  • Text is encouraged to convey the educational stormwater message.
  • Be sure to include name, phone and email.

The deadline to submit entries is August 7. The winners will be selected by August 21. The five winning artists will receive $100 and their chance to leave their artistic talents on the streets of local Kingsport neighborhoods.

Sponsors for the contest this year include Bishop & Company, Kingsport Imaging, Now or Never Tattoo Gallery, Mattern & Craig, Hazen and Sawyer, Barge Design Solutions and Gresham Smith.

The artists will each receive one quart of red, yellow, blue, white and black. Artists will start painting in September and are encouraged to practice social distancing when painting their drain. For complete rules and guidelines, please visit and search ‘storm drain art contest.’

“Even in troubled times, we must never forget the importance of clean water, for our health, recreation, and wildlife,” said Amanda McMullen, stormwater quality control technician for Kingsport Public Works. “Every one of us can help to reduce pollution and litter in our waterways.”

What is Stormwater?

As Kingsport grew, the ground became covered with asphalt, concrete and buildings. Without realizing it, an important part of the water cycle was disturbed. Instead of rain naturally filtering into the ground, it flows over roofs, driveways and streets as stormwater. Stormwater can pick up pollutants and transport them into local waterways via the storm drain system. Pollutants include everyday items like pesticides or fertilizers in our yards, oil in our cars, and even soap. When introduced into the waterway, pollutants have a harmful effect on aquatic life and the health of our rivers.

Be sure to like and follow the ‘Kingsport Public Works’ Facebook page to see progress pictures once the artists get started!

For more information on the storm drain art contest and stormwater in Kingsport, please visit this link: ‘storm drain art contest.’